Seat belts greatly reduce the risk of serious injury or death to drivers and passengers in the event of a motor vehicle crash, by up to 50% as compared to being unbuckled. In Massachusetts, however, 64 percent of people killed in crashes in 2015 (when seatbelt use could be determined) were not wearing a seatbelt. We have one of the lowest seatbelt usage rates in the country at 78 percent. To put that in perspective, the national usage rate average is 90 percent. Enter our Click It or Ticket (CIOT) enforcement and education campaign.
Through federal highway safety grant funding, the Highway Safety Division (HSD) has been successfully implementing the annual CIOT initiative since 2002. Over the past 14 years, CIOT initiatives have helped increase seat belt usage in Massachusetts from 51% in 2002 to 78% in 2016. Improvement noted, but we still have a long way to go to ensure everyone is buckling up, on every trip, no matter if its quick ride to the local convenience store or driving on the highway on the way to work.
HSD is providing CIOT funding this May to State Police and up to 202 local police departments to enforce the Commonwealth’s seat belt and child passenger safety laws. We are also running a media campaign, that aims at educating young adult males, and commercial and pickup truck drivers about the importance of wearing a seat belt and the risks associated with not buckling up. Research shows that these demographics are least likely to wear seatbelts. This page contains our PSAs, in both English and Spanish.